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In defense of the JREF Paranormal Challenge

Discussions about the James Randi Educational Foundation and its Million Dollar Challenge.

Re: In defense of the JREF Paranormal Challenge

Postby Arouet » 13 Nov 2011, 23:49

Craig: are you arguing that the fallacy of Argumentum ad populum is NOT a fallacy?
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Re: In defense of the JREF Paranormal Challenge

Postby craig weiler » 14 Nov 2011, 03:22

A ship in harbor is safe, but that's not what ships are for.
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Re: In defense of the JREF Paranormal Challenge

Postby Arouet » 14 Nov 2011, 03:46

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Re: In defense of the JREF Paranormal Challenge

Postby craig weiler » 14 Nov 2011, 06:00

We're actually talking about people who report experiences of psi. It's about 50% in the US and as high as 80% in other countries. I have read about these surveys and studies, but I don't have any on line references and my internet is waaaay to slow to look for them. (It's a long story. I won't bore you with it. Basically, AT&T f**ked us up.) The point is, this isn't a belief system, it's conclusions people reached based on their own experiences. This isn't like believing in God. Belief isn't exactly an appropriate term. Sorry for the confusion. The fallacy argument doesn't apply here.
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Re: In defense of the JREF Paranormal Challenge

Postby Arouet » 14 Nov 2011, 06:13

Right: it's conclusions people reach based on their own experiences. But conclusions based on our own experience is not a great indicator of accuracy.

The argument: this conclusion is likely true because many people believe it to be true is a logical fallacy - no matter what the topic. It's the same for experiences. We can't say: this interpretation of people's experiences is correct because lots of people believe it to be correct. To figure out whether they are correct you need to look deeper. Parapsychologists recognize this. You see over and over: lots of people believe such and such or experience such and such - therefore we've decided to study the phenomenon. That's the correct approach. Lots of people telling a similar story is interesting, but its doesn't tell us much about what is going on beneath the surface and its a bad predictor of accuracy.
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Re: In defense of the JREF Paranormal Challenge

Postby craig weiler » 14 Nov 2011, 07:12

If you are going to question billions of people all having the same experience, you had better have a damned good reason and it better be crystal clear because the statistical probability that you're right and they're wrong is infintesmal. As I've demonstrated, no such reason exists. You're left with "I don't believe them" and that is incredibly weak.
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Re: In defense of the JREF Paranormal Challenge

Postby Arouet » 14 Nov 2011, 07:17

Everyone experiences pain: how many people understand what's actually going on with pain? I'd gather very few, and some would argue none. Don't confuse the experience for the understanding of the experience.
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Re: In defense of the JREF Paranormal Challenge

Postby really? » 14 Nov 2011, 08:49

Arouet, save your energy and wash your hands of this fellow. He isn't about to admit the argument of numbers is a logical fallacy.
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Re: In defense of the JREF Paranormal Challenge

Postby craig weiler » 14 Nov 2011, 08:51

I am amazed at your cheekiness. You are right and billions are wrong? Somehow you, who has never had a psychic experience, feel confident that your mental abilities are superior to the common sense and rationality of billions of people?

I don't understand that at all.
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Re: In defense of the JREF Paranormal Challenge

Postby Arouet » 14 Nov 2011, 09:17

Good example: yes, it is possible that I can be right and billions wrong. In fact, there are many things that I am right about and billions have been wrong. Take basic ideas about science - billions would have been wrong before those ideas were fleshed out. And there are no doubt things that are commonly believed by billions today that 1000 years from now will seem quaintly misguided.

We're not arguing whether I am right about psi (my position on psi by the way is that I'm not convinced of it - not that I think its impossible, but that's besides the point here). What we're arguing about is whether you've committed a logical fallacy or not. And I believe you have.
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Re: In defense of the JREF Paranormal Challenge

Postby craig weiler » 14 Nov 2011, 11:15

If you want to hang on to your logical fallacy argument, hey, go for it. It seems a bit absurd to me, but we're obviously going to disagree here.
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Re: In defense of the JREF Paranormal Challenge

Postby Arouet » 14 Nov 2011, 11:23

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Re: In defense of the JREF Paranormal Challenge

Postby ProfWag » 15 Nov 2011, 00:38

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Re: In defense of the JREF Paranormal Challenge

Postby Jayhawker30 » 15 Nov 2011, 16:31

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Re: In defense of the JREF Paranormal Challenge

Postby really? » 15 Nov 2011, 20:42

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